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The Rachel Maddow Show

News/Business. (2012)

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Hawaii 7, Pentagon 5, Hagel 5, Jack Klugman 4, Cymbalta 4, Brian Schatz 4, Chuck Hagel 4, Geico 3, United States 3, Usaa 3, Susan Rice 3, Us 3, Iran 3, Obama 2, Abercrombie 2, United States Senate 2, Daniel Inouye 2, Starbucks 2, Ezra 2, Richard Rosenfeld 2,
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  MSNBC    The Rachel Maddow Show    News/Business.  (2012)  

    December 26, 2012
    9:00 - 9:59pm PST  

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filmmakers were excited that they could have a female hero, i don't think gender matters here when you are committing war crimes, torture, it doesn't matter what your gender,it matters that you are violating the rules of the united states and seeking to break the minds and bodies of your fellow human beings. >> very well stated. thank you very much. that's "the ed show" i'm michael eric dyson in for ed schultz. "the rachel maddow show starts now. ezra klein is filling in for rachel tonight. >> thank you, michael. thank you to you at home for sticking around for the next hour. rachel has the night off but we have big news out of washington, where nothing is happening. the house is not in session, and as of this moment has no plans to be in session for the end of the year. nothing is stirring, not even harry reid. yes, i'm still in the christmas spirit. the president meanwhile is in hawaii and won't be returning until tomorrow.
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now, normally nothing happening would not be big news in washington. nothing happening is kind of the status quo in washington. getting nothing done is to our political system as saying great is to tony the tiger. it's just kind of what we do now. right now, this week, nothing happening is huge news. the reason is that usually when washington doesn't do anything nothing happens. you do nothing, nothing happens. that's how it goes. in fact that's why people call it doing nothing. after you do it, nothing occurs. if washington doesn't do something, a lot happens. all the bush tax cuts expire, the payroll tax cuts expire. doctors participating in medicare, see their reimbursements cut by more than 25%. good luck getting a doctor then. more than a trillion dollars in spending cuts are triggered. the economy probably falls back into recession, and merry christmas and happy new year from washington to you, the american people.
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this basket of problems is what washington calls the fiscal cliff. you've been hearing for months now about the cliff crisis. you've heard a lot about whether or not it will matter, you've heard about the offers and the counteroffers president obama and house speaker john boehner put on the table. if you live in the game area, you're going to be reading about the cliff whether you like it or not. we at starbucks have an opportunity and i believe a responsibility to use our company's scale for good, by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our officials to come together and reach important ground. this week, through december 28th, partners at our washington, d.c., area stores are writing come together on customer's cups. i am hugely in favor of this new starbucks initiative. not because i think writing come
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together on coffee cups will bring anybody in washington together, i have an embarrassing coffee order, i'm hoping they will write over my order and people won't judge me. i want to step back and give you five things to remember this week. think of it as fiscal cliff notes. number one, there is a giant misconception to clear up. the thing people call the fiscal cliff, it equals too much austerity too quickly. this drives me up the wall. people seem to think the fiscal cliff is fix the debt. the problem with the fiscal cliff, the thing we're trying to avoid, the actual danger to the economy, is that we will get too much deficit reduction too quickly. if reducing the deficit was what the economy needed we could go right off the cliff and leave it there. you can see it in this graph,
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that line going down. that is the fiscal cliff, we went over our deficit problems, gone baby, totally, totally gone. one thing the fear of the fiscal cliff shows by the way, in the fox hole, everyone's a kinsian. everyone agrees. that is number one. too much austerity way too quickly. president obama is not asking for that much in taxes. it's worth getting a bit of perspective in here. you'll be shocked to know, we got a graph for that.
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here's what happens if we go over the cliff. you get more than $5 trillion in tax increases off the bat. and now here's what happens if we pass the sainted simpson bowles plan. you've heard of the plan. they have 2.6 trillion in tax increases. president obama's latest offer to john boehner has 1.2 trillion in taxes. that is half as much, less than half than simpson bowles, and less than a quarter of what is in -- simply going over the fiscal cliff. i think the tax increases are too little. they are what they are. and it's something to remember as we reach the edge and you hear a lot of complaints about the tax side of obama's offer. what he's asking for in terms of tax increases is not that radical, it's way less than if we don't reach a deal.
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contrary to what you may have heard, republicans want to raise taxes too. shocker, right? >> the superficial take on this, the argument between democrats and republicans is between democrats who love taxes, just want to tax everything. and republicans who totally grover norquist taxes, they hate them, that is not true. to a degree that kind of disturbs me, actually, the two parties mostly agree on keeping the bush tax cuts. up to $250,000 in income, which is a lot of income. republicans and democrats want to keep all the bush tax cuts. that's way more than 80% of all the bush tax cuts. they agree on all of that, no argument. where they disagree is democrats want to raise taxes on any income over 250,000. and they'll accept at this point 400,000. and republicans, though, this is what people don't always know, republicans want to raise taxes too, they want to raise them on poor people.
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they want to let the stimulus tax cuts expire. those are tax cuts that are helping poor and middle tax cuts. a family may get $60,000 will see a tax increase of almost $1,000. the white house opposes that tax increase. that is the shape of the disagreement on taxes. democrats want to raise them on the rich, republicans want to raise them on the poor. that is where the fight is happening number four. and i cannot emphasize this enough. it's important to say it clearly. this is really stupid. it's been four years since we had a terrible financial crisis. the economy remains very weak, the job market not recovered, congress has literally set a trap for the recovery. when they were setting that trap, they told us, don't worry, they would disarm it, well before it ever became a problem. it's there to make them do
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something even better. but now it seems like it's going to become a problem. in a sane political world, here's what we would be doing right now. we have high unemployment and we can borrow for nothing, less than nothing once you account for inflation. we'd be putting people back to work, rebuilding infrastructure, cutting taxes for businesses that hire people. cutting taxes for middle class people generally, and investing in the future of the country. the future of our infrastructure and jobs. meanwhile, we'd agree to a deficit reduction package that would trigger the moment unemployment fell below 6.5%. instead we're not going to do enough deficit reduction from later and we'll hang for recovery along the way. by that, i mean terrible job. it's impossible to overstate how dumb this whole thing is. which leads us to number five, the fifth and final thing to remember this week as we approach the edge.
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the thing you really need to fear, the thing that keeps me awake at night, the fear of the debt ceiling. a lot of smart people argue how quickly the fiscal cliff will damage the economy. we'll talk more in the show about what the timetable will be. here's what you need to know. the treasury department said on monday they need to begin taking action to keep us from breaking through the debt ceiling. they can buy us two months with the tricks they have up their sleeve. if we waste that time, we get to the debt ceiling and we haven't climbed back up the fiscal cliff and the republicans begin playing games with the debt ceiling, that would be fiscal suicide. we breakthrough the debt ceiling, we're talking depression. not a quick recession. it would be the single stupidest and most damaging act of sabotage in american history. and it cannot be allowed to happen. and here, hopefully to tell me why it will not happen is alice, who probably knows more about the budget and the budget deals than probably anybody else
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alive. she's appointed to president obama's national commission on fiscal responsibility and reform. and she's currently a senior fellow at the brookings institution. thank you for being here tonight. >> happy to be here. >> you know much more about this than i do. you heard the intro, is there anything you want to add or correct anyway you see the fiscal cliff that you think people should know about? >> i thought your five points were good ones, especially the one about austerity, what we're talking about now is doing something really stupid as you said, and letting the wrong policies go into effect. too much deficit reduction, too quickly, and we could push the economy into a recession. that's just dumb. >> it is very dumb. now, you've been in many, many, many of these negotiations? you've been in the backrooms of a lot of the ongoing negotiations, now, do you think they have any chance of getting a deal before the first of the year? >> i'm always hopeful, but i'm less hopeful as every day passes.
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the problem is the rhetoric that's flying back and forth between republicans and democrats sounds like we're still having an election that it never was over. i think that now -- now that we've had an election, and the american public has spoken, whatever they meant, it's time for the politicians to get together, come together as starbucks is saying, and get something done. nobody's going to get everything they want. but it's so much more important to solve the problem than for one side or the other to get what they want or blame the other. the atmosphere is just wrong. >> when you hear the argument for going over the cliff. when it's been told to me by both democrats and republicans, by actually some republicans as
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well, they say that it would be easier to get a deal after january 1st, because taxes will go up, and anything they do is a big tax cut. do you think that's right? do you think that we just need to wait this out and then it will happen quickly? >> no, i think if we do go over the cliff or down the slope, that there will be every reason to get it done quickly. people will be horrified at what's happened. but i don't think this argument that the taxes will go up automatically and, therefore, we can fool people into thinking that the same action that could be taken now and would be called a tax increase will be called a tax cut. that's too clever by half. >> when do you think -- you talked about the question, whether it's a cliff or a slope, how quickly do you think the real economy will feel? the consequences of not coming to a deal? i mean, will it be a week, a month, two months, when will there be that kind of pressure from main street? >> nobody knows, ezra, it isn't just a question of how quickly the spending cuts go into effect or how quickly the tax increases go into effect. those come in gradually and they could come in more gradually if
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the government officials thought there was going to be a deal and they better hold off. the real uncertainty i think is what the markets will do. we look like a country that isn't in control of its own destiny, because we're acting that way right now. if you're an investor, whether you're in some part of the united states or you're in some other part of the world, do you really want to buy american securities? do you want to invest in a country whose government isn't functioning? i don't think so. we could get a big market reaction, drop in the stock market. that might scare people. >> how quickly do you -- >> but it would also be a bad thing. in itself, it would contribute to the possibility of having
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another recession. >> how quickly do you think we'll feel tremors from the debt ceiling now that the treasury is beginning to talk about avoiding it. >> i think we're seeing uncertainty about absolutely everything. it's cumulative, it's the debt ceiling, it's the fiscal cliff, it's what taxes are going to be, it's what spending is going to be, people feel uncertain and when they feel uncertain they pull back. that's a natural reaction, whether they're investors or consumers. >> thank you for your time tonight. >> you're welcome. as crises go, you hope for the best and you prepare for the worst, right? since the former is starting to not look so likely, the preparing for the worst options are beginning to ramp up double time. the emergency fail breakers next. share everything. share brotherly love.
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is there a new gun regulation you could support? >> i'll tell you what would work right now. tomorrow morning, the nra would be there every step of the way.
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every u.s. attorney. violent felon, violent criminal, take them off the street. look, if ever -- >> there's no new gun regulation you would support. >> this is what would work. if every -- >> i'm asking you a direct question. is there any new gun regulation you would be willing to support? >> i'm giving you the answer. >> you're saying we should prosecute more criminals. >> he did not go on to answer the question directly. we do know the answer, the national rifle association does not support any new gun regulations at all, period. end of story. or at least end of the nra's story, the real story of gun violence and some things you probably don't know about it is ahead. there's actually some good news here, or at least promising news, scouts honor. [ male announcer ] we all make bad decisions.
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there are 1,000 names for the -- before i choose a name, i can't even tell you the thing i'm talking about, the fiscal stuff that's going to happen at the end of the year, and it will be bad. that's not a great name. congressional staffers tried to name it taxmageddon, which i like, but it's not just about taxes. bernanke called it the fiscal cliff. usually federal reserve chairman are not that quippy. the economic institute policy
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said not a cliff, not a slope, it's a fiscal obstacle course with a fiscal climbing wall, maybe a rope swing. first one to fall off the log gets voted off the island. i like to call it the austerity crisis because i think it's accurate. but at a point i gave up on that and stopped trying to make fetch happen. you can call it the austerity bomb the point is, whatever you call it, it's bad. nobody has suggested happy economic fun time because it would not be a happy economic fun time. the question is, how bad it will actually be. even with the clock running down, even if the clock runs out. the federal government has a great deal of control over how much paint is spilt by whom and when. the fiscal cliff could hurt a
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little or a lot. at least in the short run. that is up to the government and the choices the government makes for the first weeks or month or two at least. for instance, the irs, the internal revenue service can decide what to do about how they treat the tax increase. the agency could delay increasing the amount it withholds from your paycheck each week assuming congress would reach a deal. that way you wouldn't notice the tax increase before it turned around. if it didn't get reversed, you're going to get quite a bill from the taxman. also if we go over the cliff, and the spending cuts begin to take hold, the various agencies of the federal government can consider putting employees on furlough. meaning they take unpaid days off. that's considered a better alternative than layoffs, if we don't get a deal quickly, the furloughs will have to become layoffs, that will mean real pain. the great question is how
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quickly that pain will begin. would it hurt the real economy before we get a deal? or would the prospect of pain create such pressure, would congress change course before we feel it. the strategy of the folks who want to go over the cliff. the theory that is behind that idea is that going over will create so much political pressure, so much political pain that we'll quickly get a deal because congressmen won't want to stand before that amount of political anger. it will happen before it causes much real damage to the economy, we won't go over for long, it will be a week or two. that's where these plans to blunt the impact could have a very unintended consequence, though. if they work well enough, they take away the pressure that's supposed to force a quick deal. that would drag this whole thing out, meaning more damage gets done to the economy in total. government agencies have been sending out memos like this one, they reassured staffers their jobs will not be in danger next week if we go over the cliff. it seems the agencies are
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preparing for a short run in which they shift funding and delay making cuts until congress gets together. if the pain of those cuts which is supposed to make congress act doesn't come, then perhaps congress will not act. the government will wisely try its best to reduce the amount of economic turmoil we might see in the new year, is potentially lessening the political pressure it needed to bring that turmoil to an end. maybe the market or the ceo's will be scared enough they will mobilize before the effects are felt on main street, maybe they will force congress to act before the public knows anything is really wrong. but maybe not. eventually if we go over the cliff, the government will not be able to hide the effect. the white house won't even want the agencies to hold out for very long, maybe just until the end of january. they want someone to feel the pain, so they'll make a deal, he told us. if i'm trying to get them to reach a deal, i want the feds
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contractors to start saying their contracts have been cut. this is a dangerous game they're playing. they hurt the economy just enough they break the other party's will, but not so much that matters get out of hand. it's a very delicate balance to strike. and this is not a congress that's proven so adept at delicate situations over the last few years. mmmm tasty. and cut! very good. people are always asking me how we make these geico adverts. so we're taking you behind the scenes. this coffee cup, for example, is computer animated. it's not real. geico's customer satisfaction is quite real though. this computer-animated coffee tastes dreadful. geico. 15 minutes could save you 15 % or more on car insurance. someone get me a latte will ya, please?
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if my calculations are
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correct, and it looks like i did the work all right, you did not spend any time at all on christmas day or the day after thinking about the farm bill. if you did, maybe we can be friends, because you and i we get along, we know what is up. the farm bill is a big deal. not just a policy to farmers, but to people who purchase and eat food. particularly if you purchase any dairy products which may skyrocket in price. we're talking $7 milk here, people. which is why you may want to pay attention to tonight's challenge. can we in two minutes or less, explain the farm bill and why it might totally mess up your grocery bill? can we get the clock? we have the clock. all right. here we go, the farm bill covers billions of dollars in farm programs. america needs a stable farm economy, which we currently kind of have. congress always passes a farm bill or renews one that is in effect. they do it, because if they don't do it, the farm
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legislation lapses and we revert to farm laws between 1938 and '39. the house has not even voted on its version. congress doing nothing about even the stuff everyone is paying attention to, not to mention being famously not in session, it seems highly unlikely the house is going to get it done in time. so what? here's what, in one example. if there is no new farm bill six days from now, the government will have to abide by the provisions of a 19 49d law regarding milk. that would require them to buy milk from dairy farmers at hugely inflated prices. if that law takes effect again in 2013, the government will be forced to pay double what it currently pays for milk. for a short time it will be awesome for dairy farmers, they can sell as much milk as they can to make a ton of money. even dairy farmers know that the windfall will be bad news real quick. the government run on milk will lead to shortages for people who buy milk at the grocery store or
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buy it to make dairy products like cheese and pizza. americans love their pizza. it would drive up prices by as much as double. that would make a gallon of milk more than $7 while i can handle my soy milk, i don't want it all the time. christmas is not about the farm bill, but new year's, you are going to want to be thinking about the farm bill over new year's.
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on christmas, one day after a man in new york set the house he lived in with his sister on fire, the local police chief announced the gunman's sister is likely a third victim of homicide. we knew the gunman's sister was missing, she and the gunman lived in the house together were not on good terms. their mother lived there too until she died in october. human remains were found in the home.
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police believe they are those of the shooter's sister, who was in her late '60s. in the 19780s he was convicted of killing his 92-year-old grandmother and is a convicted felon. he was not supposed to be in possession of firearms, among the weapons used by a shooter was a bush master assault rifle. that sounds familiar, it is the same weapon used in the shootings newtown connecticut. neither obtained their guns illegally. we're trying to figure out how to stop these massacres, one is far too many, and they seem to be a terrifyingly regular occurrence in our country. still, these horrific events shock us so deeply because they remain rare. and because the circumstances are each so specific, it is very difficult to government policy to prevent them. most of the policies we think about wouldn't have worked. the federal private sales loophole often called the gun show loophole should be closed. but there is no evidence the
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killers bought their guns at gun shows or through the loophole. background checks should be stricter, the guns used in western new york and connecticut were not registered in the names of the shooters. waiting periods make sense for gun buyers and particularly to prevent suicide. they would have had little effect on killers who did not purchase their guns through legitimate channels. the assault weapons rifle ban should never have been prevented to last. the ban was full of loopholes and any guns before it took effect were grandfathered in. taking large capacity magazines off the market, that would be a good idea. there's not much evidence it would stop such violence at least not in the near term. manufacturer's flooded the market with high capacity magazines before the ban went
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into effect. making unusually easy for anyone to get one. some gun enthusiasts have argued if more people carried guns these killers would have been swiftly stopped. in newtown, the killer's mother loved guns and was highly trained in their use. those guns did not save or protect her. the country could do a better job providing mental health care. there's no information that getting mental health treatment was a problem. and we need to be careful not to profile mentally ill. perhaps the single impactful sentence i've read, figuring out how to prevent another gun massacre at a school is figuring out the wrong problem. according to the brady campaign, more than 12,000 people die in america after being shot in a homicide each year.
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more than 18,000 kill themselves with a gun, almost 600 are killed in a gun accident and more than 66,000 are injured by guns. these traumas are sad but so common that they no longer have power to shock. but they do get to the truth of the underlying policy issue. we may not be able to stop every gun death, but there are lots and lots and lots of gun deaths that we can stop. and a deadly mass shooting like the one in newtown is one that makes it difficult so confront through policy. the around gun death follows a clearer pattern, that better gun policy can interrupt. when i asked what to do, he said he want the guy to ask, he said call richard rosenfeld at the university of sane the louis. he joins us tonight.
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it's good to have you here. >> thank you. >> give me your three policies, how do we prevent gun deaths generally, that you would put into place first. >> if we're talking about gun deaths generally, the first policy i would put into place is already in place in many cities in the united states, and i think should be spread even further. and it often goes under the popular term hotspots policing. policing has been shown to reduce what you referred to earlier as average gun violence if any gun violence could be said to be average. that is to say enhancing police patrols in those neighborhoods or even smaller areas of the city where gun violence is highly concentrated, typically during the night and evening hours, that's been shown to
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reduce firearm violence and incidentally without spreading it to adjoining areas. the research literature is very clear on that, my own city of st. louis recently implemented such a program and experienced very substantial declines in gun violence where the program was implemented. so policy number one for reducing our largest gun violence problem, which is the problem of typically two young men in a dispute. one or both of whom are arms, one kills or severely injures the other. we do know how to reduce that problem. we're not going to eliminate it, but it's important to keep in mind that over the last two decades, firearm homicide notice united states has declined by roughly 50%. >> right, it is a huge success story. >> it is a huge success story.
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we don't know all the reasons for the decline. but in those places in which smart policing of the sort i described has been implemented we've seen reductions, not simply in gun violence but in other forms of criminal activity as well. >> how about policy number two? >> policy number two has to do with our other gun violence problem. the problem we've been talking about over the last few days and indeed over the last year. and that's the gun violence problem associated with the mass shootings. that's a rather different problem. smart policing of the sort i just described is not going to work as well because as you pointed out, mass shootings are rare, they're not spatially concentrated. and so smarter policing -- >> you don't mean all in the same city? >> they don't occur all in the same city. they don't occur in the same
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neighborhoods. they're so rare, they don't occur clustered anywhere, fortunately. there it seems to me restricting access to highpowered weapons and large capacity magazines is a necessary step. as you point out, it's not going to lead to an immediate elimination or even, it seems to me, important reduction in the number of incidents. but overtime i'm reasonably certain it would lead to a reduction in the number of victims. we call these mass killings because of the number of victims involved. and if there's less access to the kinds of weapons that show up disproportionately to these killings over time, there should be fewer victims. >> we could have a tirter
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assault weapons ban going-forward as well. richard rosenfeld thank you very much for your time tonight. and your work on this issue. >> thank you, ezra. you probably remember jack klugman, he was oscar madison on "the odd couple" and quincy. he was also the most heroic actor to play an american medical examiner in history. and that story is coming up. [ male announcer ] imagine facing the day with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain
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the state of hawaii has itself a brand new united states senator elect. a little more than a week ago daniel inouye passed away outside of washington at the age of 88. his passing immediately kicked off a process to replace him in hawaii, and it is a process that's kind of unique to hawaii. hawaii's governor neil abercrombie was provided with a list of three potential replacements for senator inouye. the three they put together included the state's current
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lieutenant governor. the governor got to choose among those thee and tonight he announced his decision. >> i have informed the leadership of the united states senate with senator reid, the majority of the united states senate brian schatz will be the next senator from hawaii. >> brian schatz, governor abercrombie chose his own lieutenant governor to be the state's next senator. he's a former chairman of the presidential party. this appointment is not without controversy. senator daniel inouye's last request is that he be replaced by colleen hannabussa. tonight the senator's office
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releases this statement. he conveyed his final wish to senator abercrombie. we're disappointed it was not honored, it was the governor's decision to make. brian schatz will leave hawaii tonight with president obama aboard air force one, in order to be sworn in tomorrow evening in washington. yes, brian schatz has been promoted.
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remember the whole susan rice fiasco a few weeks ago. we spent weeks arguing about who knew what over talking points someone else wrote. she withdrew her name from consideration for secretary of state before she was nominated for the job. no one expects john kerry's confirmation to be a problem. during the whole susan rice fight, there's no discussion over whether she would have been good at the job. there's not been much over whether kerry would be better. these inventing scandals can be obsessing, you spend so much time and energy running forensics on whatever claim, you're exhausted with the topic and you've learned nothing of value. that may be happening again with another high level cabinet post. >> senator graham, final question, can chuck hagel become secretary of defense if he's the
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president's nominee? >> a lot of republicans asking hard questions, i don't think he's going to get many republican votes. i like chuck, but his positions, i didn't know all of them. are out of the mainstream and well to the left of the president. i think it will be a challenging nomination, the hearings will matter. >> if i were in the senate on the armed services committee, and he was nominated i would have some serious questions to ask him. >> i think senator engle will not be nominated or not be confirmed. the concede in the obama white house was these are republicans. on foreign policy, he's been way to the left of president obama. former nebraska senator chuck hagel has been leaked not nominated leaked as a potential nominee for secretary of defense, and there was already a massive counter offensive against him. it does have more substance to it, than the attacks against susan rice. a fair amount of that substance consists of insinuations. the sides are forming, there's
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the chuck hagel defense corps and the club of very tree ole and assault. what is not happening is sitting back and asking the simple question, would this person make a better defense secretary than the alternatives who are the other people up for the job. would one of them be better? the front-runners for secretary of defense are chuck hagel. there's also michelle florinoid, who is well qualified. also in the running is ashton carter, the current deputy defense secretary. now, defense isn't my issue, but i'd like to know, which of these people would do the best job. we keep skipping the interview process, going right to the smearing portion of the evening. not here on the rachel maddow show. tonight we have someone who really knows.
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she is one of the smartest defense experts i know, heather herbert. heather, nice to see you. >> that's quite an introduction to live up to. >> i'm sure you'll do fine. when you think of the secretary of defense job, what is the job description? what do they need to be able to do well? >> the next defense secretary is going to have to do three pretty hard things well. one is to lead the pentagon out of afghanistan, lead our military into redefining itself as to what does it do? why do you serve in the post-post-9/11 era? second, lead the country in more defense spending cuts, which is coming. and third thing is really to lead the nation through a discussion of what's our military for in the post-post-9/11 era? what's the role of counterterrorism? what are the limits of counterterrorism? what are we doing in asia?
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how do we work with our allies in china and asia? where has the pentagon taken powers that maybe need to go back to the civilian agencies? those are three enormous jobs that require you to work well with congress, to work well with the defense industry, to be trusted with our men and women in uniform and to have a really close relationship with the president. that's a big job description. >> so if we paint this sort of job description as guiding the pentagon through that period, it sounds like reimagining. how do you see the strengths and weakness of the front runners? >> the first thing to say about senator hagel is he clearly has a very strong personal relationship with the president, which is something you really want. he's also a decorated war hero, saved lives of his company mates in vietnam and is really well respected by folks in the military, which matters. which matters a lot. michelle flourney may be one of the pre-intellectuals of our generation, and for her whole career, she's been thinking about how do you reimagine the military? how do you modernize the military?
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she's held several big jobs at the pentagon and is very well respected. ashton carter, currently the number two, he has actually spent the last few years wrangling with the defense industry and also with congress, so he comes in with that kind of nuts and bolts experience of how to work through this period of reshaping. >> and when you think about hagel's personal views on iran, because that's, i think, the most substantive of the foreign policy critiques against him, what are they and do they matter for this job? sometimes i hear him and it sounds more like a secretary of defense issue than a secretary of state issue. >> if you remember, it has not been a year since we had a crisis of going to war with iran, so i imagine we'll have at least one more with hagel's tenure. we should exhaust options before we think of a military strike on
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iran, and that, fortunately or unfortunately, depending how you look at it, a military strike on iran will not necessarily stop iran's nuclear program, and hagel has been quite skeptical about it, a skepticism which is shared by the current state of defense and his predecessor and the joint chair chiefs of staff and the military, and, by the way, the majority of the american public who only want a strike on iran if they're sure iran has the weapon. so this notion that hagel is outside the mainstream, he's definitely not outside the pentagon mainstream, not outside the american mainstream. he may be outside the mainstream in congress, but congress is its own animal. >> heather hurlburt, thank you very much for walking us through this tonight. >> thanks for having me. a real-life medical triumph achieved by a fake tv doctor. this story is great, i promise.
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the actor jack klugman died this week on christmas eve. he was 90 years old. by the late 1970s to early '80s, he was already very famous, starring in the sitcom "the odd couple" and later starring in "quincy." quincy episodes were often ripped right from the headlines, so when quincy's brother heard about a heading on why pharmaceutical companies were not spending money on diseases, diseases named orphan diseases for this reason, no profit motive to try to cure them. so klugman's brother wrote an episode about it in 1981. the disease was correct. the episode was called "seldom silent, seldom heard." jack klugman was testifying on
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capitol hill himself in front of waxman's subcommittee about how to convince drug makers to work on orphan diseases despite the fact they would not necessarily get rich doing it in the private sector. klugman got the hearing and the issue a huge headline in the "new york times" and it got it attention and that freed the bill. the resulting bill was called the orphan drug act of 1982. it offered drug makers incentives to pay for clinical trials. it made it profitable for them and it was popular. the bill passed the house, no problem. but according to reporter josh greene, the bill ran into trouble in the senate for reasons reportedly having to do with senate perks like the tax credit. what did jack klugman and his brother do? they produced another "quincy" episode which passed the bill very much likehe